THEY hold your hand before surgery, advocate for you while you’re under anaesthetic and support you in the recovery process.
They witness the joy of a newborn baby born by caesarean section.
They share the sorrow of a new cancer diagnosis.
Our perioperative nurses are some of our greatest unsung heroes.
And tomorrow they’ll be gathering at the Rich River Golf Club for their state Country Conference and Trade Show.
A record number of delegates have signed up for the Victorian Perioperative Nurses Group (VPNG) event, with 160 expected to attend.
ERH doctors and nurses will be among the presenters on the day, with a number of medical companies participating in the trade show.
Echuca Regional Health’s Kerry Schroder has been a key driver of the statewide event coming to Echuca-Moama.
“I was a VPNG scholarship winner in 2010 and joined the committee in 2011 as a passionate perioperative nurse who wanted to contribute something more to the profession,” she said.
“It can be difficult getting access to education in our specialty while living in the country and I had wanted to do something for my colleagues and bring the education to them.
“I’m so excited we have had such a wonderful response and Echuca-Moama gets to be a part of a great event that offers specialised education and networking among the nurses.”
Kerry, like many other nurses in the field, was initially drawn to the team spirit and challenging aspects of perioperative nursing.
“About 20 years ago my first job at ERH was working in the sterilising department and this is where I was first exposed to some of the workings of the theatre department – I found it all very fascinating,” she said.
After tackling a Bachelor of Nursing and additional clinical training, Kerry finally pursued her dream job.
“I love the team work – there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes not everyone is aware of,” she said.
“I also love the variety – in a country hospital like ours we are trained to be able to work in all areas from anaesthetics, instrument nurse, Post Anaesthetic Care Unit and day surgery.
“And it’s a privilege to be able to share in our patient’s journey through surgery, often when they are at their most vulnerable.”